What Is the Best Lightweight Travel Backpack? 

 June 22, 2023

By  Keith Terrell

A lightweight backpack is always recommended for traveling. Lighter fabrics are simply more comfortable and convenient to bring around with you. So many brands market their bags as lightweight, so how do you pick the right one?

Always choose the lightest possible bag for your needs. Your backpack should weigh no more than 3 pounds for traveling, but it should be durable. A good lightweight backpack should also be comfortable and have enough capacity as well as pockets to help you stay organized while traveling.

There are also other considerations when choosing a lightweight travel backpack. Read on to learn everything you need to find the right lightweight travel backpack for your trip. 





Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L

Best for Travel Photography

Osprey Kyte 36

Best Women’s Lightweight Travel Backpack

Vargo Exoti 50 Backpack

Best Men’s Lightweight Travel Backpack

Osprey Farpoint 40L

Best Carry on Travel Backpack

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L

Best for Outdoor Travel

Features of the Best Lightweight Travel Backpacks

Travel backpacks of the past were notorious for bulky shapes and heavy construction.

Thanks to modern engineering and design, there is now a wide array of travel bags that are made from light and ultralight materials. These bags are designed to help you travel farther and quicker without weighing you down, especially when navigating crowded airports or going from one mode of transport to another. They also help save money from costs incurred by overweight baggage or check-in luggage, as long as they are of the right size. 

Choosing the best lightweight travel backpack requires several considerations, which will be discussed in detail below: 

Light vs. Ultralight Backpacks

When shopping around for lightweight travel bags, you'll come across light as well as ultralight backpacks.

The difference between light and ultralight lies in the materials used, and in the traveler’s packing style. These are vastly different from traditional travel packs which are much heavier. Light and ultralight backpackers prioritize the weight of a backpack before buying it to ensure that it aligns with their minimalist travel and packing style. 

Technically speaking, a traditional travel backpack could have a base weight of around 25 lbs., which refers to the pack’s weight not including the consumable items including water and food. Traditional backpacks tend to weigh around 3 to 4 pounds when empty.

On the other hand, the base weight of a lightweight backpack is under 20 lbs., and for an ultralight packer, it would be under 10 lbs. Light and ultralight backpacks come in an array of designs and materials that weigh under 2 pounds when empty. 

With that information, you can have a general idea of the type of traveler you are.


Lightweight and ultralight backpacks can still carry a significant amount of weight, which is why they are preferred by many travelers. However, how much they can carry and how durable they will be will depend on the quality of materials used, among other factors. 

It’s important to understand the kind of material used in the backpack, not just for these reasons, but to also have an idea of its other characteristics. Understanding fabrics will also provide you with a better idea of their pros and cons, so you can decide which one is best for your travel needs. 

But first, keep in mind that traditional backpacks are heavier than those designed to be lightweight or ultralight. Traditional backpacks are usually made from the following materials:

  • Polyester: This plastic-based fabric is a popular choice for travel backpacks because it’s resistant to wear and tear, durable, dries quickly, and is very lightweight. Given these reasons, it’s easy to see why polyester is widely used in backpacks.
  • Nylon: Nylon refers to a wide range of plastics that are melted down into fibers which are then woven to create backpacks. Nylon is resistant to high temperatures, and it’s also strong, durable, and abrasion-resistant. However, nylon isn’t as resistant to ultraviolet rays.
  • Canvas: Canvas is a popular backpack material, and it can be made from cotton or a variety of different fibers. Canvas is heavy, not making it suitable for backpacks for use longer than a few hours. However, it’s durable and will last you a long time.
  • Polypropylene: Though less popular compared to the other materials, polypropylene is a plastic with a high melting point and has a good resistance to water. It can withstand significant wear and tear, but it’s rarely used as a complete material in backpacks. Polypropylene is commonly used in low-end bag styles.
  • Ripstop: Ripstop refers to a fiber made with a special weaving designed to make it stronger and offer better resistance to wear and tear. Ripstop also has the ability to prevent small tears from spreading, which is why it’s commonly used in applications such as camping gear and hot air balloons. However, many backpack designers integrate ripstop into certain backpack areas. Depending on the ripstop material, it can be water-resistant or waterproof and may be light, medium, or heavy in weight.

There are also several newer materials that have been developed over the last few years. It’s good to know a fabric’s ounce per square yard (oz/sq yd), a numerical metric that can tell you how light it is. 

For example, some ultralight fabrics have 0.3 oz/sq yd while heavier materials weigh in at 4 oz/sq yd. This metric will help you determine whether the fabric is more durable or lightweight. 

Below is a list of some common modern fabrics used in lightweight backpacks: 


Dyneema or Dyneema X is a brand of high-denier nylon materials known for their excellent resistance to abrasion. It’s made from ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). Dyneema has a superior strength-to-weight ratio compared to other traditional or lightweight materials used in backpacks. 

If you need a travel backpack that you’ll be taking with you on rugged adventures, you shouldn’t go wrong with one made from Dyneema. Just keep in mind that it isn’t as soft as other lightweight materials.


X-Pac is a fabric made out of composite layers that have been laminated onto one sheet. These layers usually include polyester mesh, nylon, waterproof film, and taffeta with a water-resistant coating. The end result is a thin, lightweight, and extra-strong fabric. 

X-Pac doesn’t contain fibrous strands, since each layer has been laminated cohesively into one piece. As a result, X-Pac fabrics don’t typically have a denier rating. However, there are different types of X-Pac fabrics that make use of various nylon densities, each of which has its own corresponding denier ratings.


Cordura is a brand of durable yet light fabrics that are sometimes made from recycled materials. These fabrics are woven into quality, strong yarns. Since Cordura is a high-tenacity fabric, it’s one of the strongest yet lightest materials around. 

Cordura is known for excellent abrasion resistance, which is why it’s often used in military gear. Any backpack that uses Cordura is a reliable choice though these are usually high-end and thus cost more. However, they are popular among travelers that are willing to invest in a pack for its longevity and strength. 


Kodra shares similar properties to Cordura. It’s also a premium fabric, though the primary difference is that Kodra is made in Korea. 


Spectra, like Dyneema, is a UHMWPE. It has similar characteristics to Dyneema, such as its lightweight, durability, and strength. It is also widely used in law enforcement as well as military applications. 

Denier Rating

When shopping for the best travel backpacks, you should also consider how strong the material is. The last thing you want while traveling is for your bag to break or tear down during unexpected times. To determine how strong your backpack is, check for its denier count.

A high denier count is what determines a fabric’s strength; it is the primary unit of measurement. When you encounter fabrics with a high denier count, this means they are stronger and thicker. On the other hand, fabrics that have a low denier count tend to be thin, silky, and soft; these are not ideal for a travel backpack. Tough, heavy-duty backpacks usually have a denier count of 400D and above.

Lightweight fabrics fall at the lower end of the denier spectrum. That’s why most lightweight and ultralight materials have a 20D denier rating yet they are extremely soft and light, while traditional or heavy-duty backpacks have a denier rating of 600D but are hard and heavy. That said, a travel backpack with a 20D denier rating will not be able to carry very heavy loads without increasing the risk of breakage and damage.


Several pockets of different sizes are important in travel backpacks. They help you stay organized and ensure you know where everything is, even during time-sensitive moments such as looking for your identification a few minutes before boarding a plane. 

When shopping around for a lightweight travel backpack, you’ll come across designs with various pockets. Below is a list of common pockets that you will find useful during your trip:

  • Padded laptop compartment, to keep your laptop protected while you’re on the go
  • Lined or padded tablet compartment, to protect your iPad or kindle from scratches
  • Elastic side pockets, which can act as water bottle pockets; can also be used to store an umbrella, map, flashlight, and other travel accessories
  • Front access pockets, where you can keep a bunch of things you may need urgent access to, such as your passport or ID
  • Tech sleeve, which is designed specifically to organize electronics and accessories including your power bank, cables, headphones, and others

These are some basic yet important pockets that a travel backpack should have. It’s recommended to have a backpack with just the essential pockets you specifically need since they do add weight. 

Depending on how and where you travel, there are also specialized travel backpacks with pockets specifically for hiking, fishing, camping, and backpacking. Travel photographers should also use bags with camera gear compartments; these are equipped with generous padding in all the right areas to protect your pricey electronics, which is important if you are traveling with laptops or computers too.

In addition, you can also use packing cubes to organize a pack’s main compartment. Cubes are helpful for segregating belongings into various categories such as separating t-shirts from pants, underwear, outer shirts, shoes, laundry, and other belongings. These nifty little pouches are extremely helpful in organizing a backpack’s spacious interior. 


Choose the volume of your lightweight travel backpack carefully. The material used will have an impact on how much weight you can safely carry without worrying about the risk of damage to the backpack.

In order for manufacturers to produce such a low weight in lightweight packs, they are oftentimes not as durable as a traditional backpack that’s also heavier, which is why they don’t usually come in volumes as large as traditional travel backpacks. Overpacking any backpack will definitely cause quicker damage and deterioration. Lightweight bags are best paired with lightweight travel gear too. 

If you are using a lightweight backpack made out of traditional materials, you can choose a volume that’s as much as 70L or even more. It will all depend on how you intend to use your travel backpack: do you need it as a carry-on? Will it be used for sightseeing? Will your travel backpack replace your suitcase entirely? 

These are things you need to think about before deciding on your pack’s volume. 

Water Resistance

Given that you will be exposed to the elements when traveling, it’s always best to give your belongings an extra layer of protection by using a bag with water-resistant features. This is especially critical if you are spending most of your time outdoors, such as while sightseeing or hiking. Some places in the United States and Europe are notorious for unpredictable weather, so if your destination sounds like this, protect your belongings from the rain by using a backpack that is protected with weather resistance.

Check the water resistance or waterproof qualities of a travel backpack before you purchase it. Manufacturers usually provide this information in product descriptions online. At the very least, you can use a backpack with a detachable rain cover; these are usually stored in a pocket at the bottom of a backpack, to be deployed whenever necessary. 


A travel backpack that can be used in many contexts is always preferred for versatility. You’ll get more value out of your purchase when you are able to use the pack in different places, as opposed to one that’s made for, say, only urban use. Imagine how useful it would be to have a backpack you can use while exploring the streets of New York City and the beaches of Southeast Asia?

Look for backpack details that offer you flexibility. A lightweight travel or hiking backpack that isn’t too bulky, in elegant or neutral colors, and has the right pockets for your everyday needs will enable you to use it for a range of activities, such as a day at a coffee shop, exploring a new city in another country, and even as a daypack for a quick hike. It all depends on how you travel.

You may also want to consider a backpack with expandable or flexible storage options, so you always have space for those unexpected purchases.

A travel bag with handles also adds versatility, as well as convenience, and comfort. Side and top handles give you the option of carrying your backpack by hand. They also make it easier to pull your bag out of the overhead cabin. 

You may also want to consider a backpack with wheels. Being able to convert a backpack into wheeled luggage can save your back as well as improve mobility, especially during those moments when you’re tired of carrying it around due to a heavy load.


It might be surprising to see that a lightweight travel backpack you just paid over $200 for can barely be felt in your hands. Sure, it might seem fragile, but quality lightweight travel bags are constructed to withstand the abuse that comes with traveling. However, there are also many affordable, light options around and under $100.

There are a few things to think about before deciding how much is a good amount to shell out on for such a bag. For example, if traveling light is the most important priority for you, and you have enough money to replace the backpack as needed, then it’s worth spending on an ultralight backpack just for its weight. On the other hand, if you want a light bag that is both durable and comfortable enough for years of travel, then you may want to invest in slightly heavier but stronger products.

The good news is that there are lightweight travel backpacks across the price spectrum. Designs and weights vary, but there is something for everyone across all budgets. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How big should a lightweight travel backpack be?

Choose the size of your travel backpack depending on the kind of trip you are going on: 

Plane Travel

If your trip involves airplane travel, you may want to consider bags that can be used as a carry-on. The dimensions for carry on bags are:

  • Standard international carry on size: 27 x 21 x 14 inches
  • Domestic US carry on size: 22 x 14 x 9 inches

While the size restrictions above are general guidelines, always be sure to check with the airline you are flying with because carry-on baggage allowances will vary. A lightweight travel backpack that can hold everything you need in a carry-on will save you money from checked-in luggage fees, while also saving you time spent from waiting for your bag at the baggage claim area. 

In addition, a carry-on backpack also minimizes the risk of losing your luggage, or your bag getting damaged from transit. 

Short Trips

If you're going on weekend road trips or will be traveling for a few days, a backpack ranging from 25 to 40L capacity is just the right size. However, if you don’t plan on carrying your backpack on your body for long periods of time, then you can use a bag that leans towards the heavier end of the spectrum when empty, such as 4 pounds and up.

Backpacking Trips

Backpacking trips usually involve carrying your backpack on your body for several hours a day, for two weeks or more. When it comes to this type of trip, you’ll want to go with the lightest backpack available, yet one that also has lots of storage space for anything you may need.

Look for bags that are between the 40 to 50L range. Travel backpacks with as much as 85L capacity are available, though it is simply not recommended for backpacking trips because you will only end up being extremely uncomfortable with the sheer weight you have to carry. Carrying a very heavy backpack for long periods of time greatly increases the risk of injury and discomfort, especially on your back and shoulders.

What are the benefits of ultralight backpacks for travel?

Ultralight backpacks allow you to travel with minimal belongings, but it starts with the weight of the pack when empty. Ultralight usually means you’re carrying a maximum of 10 to 15 pounds with all your gear, which is why it’s important to use a backpack that’s as light as possible.

There are many advantages to this kind of backpack for traveling, though the most important benefit is the ability to significantly reduce strain on your shoulders and back muscles. Ultralight packs are more comfortable to use even with heavier loads, but be sure that they have all the features that enable you to be comfortable – such as adjustable and padded shoulder straps, a hip belt or waist strap, and a chest strap when needed. Many backpack brands offer these adjustable features so that they can be utilized by customers, no matter what their height. 

Traveling with ultralight packs can also save you money because flights are cheaper when you pack lighter.

Additionally, ultralight packs allow for much greater flexibility during travel. Imagine having to pass through a crowded airport with a heavy, bulky backpack in tow. This can dampen your travel experience.

It’s simply better to use an ultralight bag for the convenience of navigating crowds effortlessly; they also make it simpler to stash it on the overhead bin or underneath your seat on the airplane.

What is the best way to pack light in a travel backpack?

In order to travel lightly, it’s important to think about how you can reduce the weight of the packed items in your backpack. You may either have to decrease the number of items packed or focus on light goods. Minimalist travelers often invest in high-quality clothing and travel gear that weigh less and pack only the items that are essential to your overall comfort and safety during your travels.

Below is a guide with tips to help you pack light: 

  1. Pack only what you need: If you have a little extra budget to spare, you can have your clothes laundered while you’re traveling. It saves you a great deal of space as opposed to packing clothes you’ll need for every single day of your trip. As a general rule of thumb, you can bring clothes for half the days you will be traveling, then wash to reuse.
  2. Bring versatile essentials: Always opt for travel gear, clothing, and accessories that have been designed for multiple uses. This makes packing and planning your days so much simpler and more convenient. For example, a pashmina or sarong can protect you from cold airplane or bus rides and they can also be used on the beach or as a blanket. Multipurpose soap, which you can use on your hands, body, and face, is another excellent way to save space.
  3. Roll clothes instead of folding: Rolling clothes, instead of folding, is the most effective way to save space in your backpack. The process of rolling your clothes will eliminate the air that accumulates between the folds to help you make the most out of any available space. When rolling is done properly, it can also ensure that your shirts, jackets, and trousers aren’t wrinkled upon arrival at your destination. 
  4. Light fabrics: Steer clear from heavyweight, bulky fabric whenever possible. Opt for lightweight materials such as polyester and nylon, though linen, cotton, and cotton blends are also good choices.
  5. Toiletries: Toiletries can take up a significant amount of space in your backpack. The best way to save on space taken up by toiletries is to pack none at all and use those provided by your hotel. Alternatively, purchase them at the local supermarket when you arrive at your destination – it comes out cheaper than having to pay for extra baggage fees.

Our Recommendations for the Best Lightweight Travel Backpack

No matter what your travel style and preferences are, there’s a backpack out there for you.

It may seem daunting to scour all the brands and models out there. To make your search simpler, below is a list of popular lightweight travel backpacks that have solid reviews from customers. 

Read on below for helpful information, and click on the links for product specifications (note: we earn a small commission from Amazon if you decide to purchase any of these backpacks at no extra cost to you):

Best for Travel Photography

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L: Peak Design is renowned for beautiful bags that cater to photographers’ needs. This travel backpack has several amazing qualities that are perfect for traveling with a camera in tow. It weighs 4.5 lbs, though given the rugged exterior and numerous protective features, these are necessary for anyone carrying a camera, lenses, and other fragile camera equipment.

Best for Travel Photography

Starting off with its design, the bag has a simple and elegant unisex aesthetic that also allows it to be used in a myriad of situations. From exploring cities with your camera to business meetings, this bag will get a lot of use and offers terrific value for money. The neutral black color adds to its professional look, so you can even take it along to work. 

It’s also convenient that the bag has a solid shape and structure, while a grab handle located on each side makes it easy to lift or pull out of the overhead cabin. The Peak Design Travel Backpack meets international carry-on requirements for most airlines. While the default capacity is 35L, the expandable storage feature gives you plenty of extra room when you need it. You can compress this bag down to 30L as well.

The pack has several compartments for gadgets and clothes. Access your laptop and tablet quickly through the padded sleeve located in the interior compartment. Meanwhile, the main compartment lets you organize your camera, lenses, and other accessories as well as clothes neatly, especially if you use packing cubes. 

Additionally, the padded sidewalls in the front flap offer even more organization. The zippered dividing panel enables you to use the bag as two compartments, or combine them into one. Expandable side storage can be used as a hydration pocket or for keeping your other essentials. 

Talk about convenient and simplified organizing!

The pack’s hard nylon shell does an excellent job of protecting your valuables, which is necessary when you are traveling with electronics. Thorough padding in all the compartments gives peace of mind, so much so that camera cubes are not even necessary. Another reason why this bag is so great is it utilizes waterproof zippers, which are made of solid quality and slide seamlessly as you open and close them.

For those who believe traveling and photography go hand in hand, the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L is the bag for the job. No wonder it’s received a number of awards over the last few years.

Best Women’s Lightweight Travel Backpack

Osprey Kyte 36A female backpacker looking for a women-specific lightweight travel pack for its customized fit and form should check out the Osprey Kyte 36. This model weighs just 3 pounds, but it can accommodate 36 liters – ideal for hiking and backpacking excursions.

Best Womens Lightweight Travel Backpack

This bag has all the bells and whistles you need for any adventure. Osprey has designed this backpack for serious travelers, evident in its superior functionality. Stay comfortable no matter where in the world your travels take you; this bag is equipped with AirScape, a breathable ridged foam back panel that’s also adjustable for your torso length.

The Osprey Kyte 36 is also one of the best hiking backpacks out there. It comes with several attachments for treks as well as backpacking, including a hidden rain cover that can be deployed in case you need it. There is an issue with the rain cover, though: when the backpack is packed to the brim, there may be cases wherein the rain cover may fail to cover the bag completely. 

The bag’s zippered hip belt pockets are the perfect place to keep small items such as snacks while you’re on the go. It should also be mentioned that the hip belt of this pack is extra wide for more efficient weight distribution to your hips. 

An external reservoir compartment is located in the back panel; it makes refilling your water easy while preventing any spills from affecting the rest of your pack. Take your sleeping bag with you thanks to the spacious sleeping bag compartment. It’s located at the pack’s bottom and is equipped with removable dividers for easy organization. 

The Osprey Kyte 36 also has hiking pole attachments and Straight Jacket side compression straps. It’s made from tough 210D x 630D Nylon Dobby with 420D Nylon Oxford accents. The bottom of the backpack is reinforced with 500D Nylon Packcloth for extra protection from abrasion and scratches. 

Rugged traveling demands a backpack that’s made for the job. Women who are serious about traveling will appreciate what the Osprey Kyte 36 has to offer. It has been reviewed by female testers many times over, and always with stellar results. 

Best Men’s Lightweight Travel Backpack

Vargo Exoti 50 Backpack: Men who need optimum support for outdoor travel or backpacking will applaud the myriad of features put together in the Vargo Exoti 50 Backpack. This external frame system backpack weighs just 2 pounds, which is impressively light considering everything this travel pack comes with.

Best Mens Lightweight Travel Backpack

The newly-improved version includes many important changes to the previous model in the series. It’s much lighter and has a greater volume than the 35L predecessor, while mesh pockets on the sides are a lot deeper compared to the water bottle pocket design of most other travel backpacks. They also added a top-loading opening, improved the frame design, and compatibility with rain covers.

The Vargo Exoti 50 Backpack is a versatile product that can be used in many different ways. However, one of the biggest things that stands out in this pack is its sheer comfort, thanks to a number of features. One of these is the adjustable lumbar plate, which makes carrying this backpack so much more comfortable.

And while most backpacks with an external frame are notorious for being heavy, this pack is different. In addition, the load lifters are significantly wider compared to other external frame backpacks, which adds to comfort as well as efficiency in carrying. You’ll also experience greater ease as you move about.

Just keep in mind that Vargo recommends packing a maximum of 35 lbs into this backpack. That said, it will help you maximize all the pack’s features while ensuring you are as comfortable as possible. And while this is on the pricier end, the Vargo Exoti 50 is a good investment for frequent travelers and backpackers. 

Best Carry on Travel Backpack

Osprey Farpoint 40: The Osprey Farpoint 40L has long had a cult following among seasoned travelers. It weighs 3.48 lbs though it packs a punch in travel amenities. 

Best Carry on Travel Backpack

This bag was designed to fit in the overhead cabin of most airlines, hence its compact size. In addition, it caters to the needs of a minimalist traveler, digital nomad, or business traveler for whom traveling far and stress-free is important. You are also buying from Osprey, a brand renowned for its world-class durability – so while the price may not be the cheapest, consider it an investment in longevity. 

The Osprey Farpoint 40 has a clamshell opening for convenient packing and unpacking. It opens up to an ultra-spacious main compartment and one that’s certainly much deeper than it looks from the outside. Whether you’re a light packer heading to warm temperatures such as in Southeast Asia, or need a convenient bag for a weekend trip, this is an ever-reliable favorite among many travelers.

You can keep your laptop securely in place in the zippered laptop sleeve; it’s also equipped with an external pocket for easily organizing your toiletries, which saves you space and weight from having to bring a toiletry bag.

While this bag isn’t ideal for those who need to lug around cameras and heavy gear, it has the right mix of features for light travelers, which you can take just about anywhere. This also isn’t the lightest bag on the market, though Osprey has strategically placed durable materials in parts of the backpack that get the most wear, so the pack lasts you a lifetime. 

The Osprey Farpoint 40 is a men’s bag but, because of its amazing fit and customization, it’s easy to see why many women use this bag too. The back panel has a mesh-covered foam AirScape for optimal breathability, while the LightWire peripheral frame transfers the pack weight from the harness down to the hipbelt. Furthermore, the adjustable sternum strap improves your balance when carrying it.

For security, it's good to know that the bag is designed with lockable sliders in the primary zipper. The metal loop allows you to attach a small padlock, providing an extra layer of security for your belongings. This may be much simpler compared to anti-theft features found in other bags, though it’s still extremely useful and beneficial rather than none at all. 

In addition, the front compression system also works to prevent theft by covering the zip sliders. This keeps them away from the prying eyes of potential thieves. 

Best for Outdoor Travel

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L: If you need a lightweight travel backpack that can also withstand the wear and tear of the great outdoors, the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L is a fantastic choice. Weighing just 3 pounds and 8 ounces, the lightweight shell is constructed with super-tough 1000D polyester that’s TPU coated for extra durability. 

Best for Outdoor Travel

This backpack was designed with incredible comfort, and it’s clear that the manufacturer paid serious attention to detail. In fact, it’s one of the most comfortable yet lightweight travel bags around. Contoured and padded backpack straps allow you to carry this bag for hours with ease, while the adjustable sternum strap and thick hip belt provide extra support so you can focus on enjoying your adventure. 

The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L comes in beautiful, vibrant colorways. The youthful appearance appeals to all kinds of nomads and travelers, as well as its numerous practical aspects.

The rectangular clamshell design of the bag makes packing a breeze. It’s easy to see why most people prefer backpacks that open like a briefcase: there really is nothing more convenient than opening a backpack and being able to see all your things at a glance. Only clamshell backpacks offer this advantage.  

Additionally, the internal compression straps make it easy to keep your heavy things close to the center of gravity. As a result, the backpack feels much lighter than it actually is!

There are many thoughtful features found all throughout the bag too. The presence of extra gear loops on the exterior allows you to attach a few other accessories such as a pouch to keep your other stuff. A pocket on one side has a rain fly to protect your bag in the event of rain. Webbing loops located in the exterior zippers also prevent theft. 

The interior pockets are properly divided with the use of zippers and mesh. Outside, a zippered compartment makes the ideal storage for toiletries or any other small item, such as cables, electronics, chargers, pens, your wallet, or headphones. 

Take note, many travelers find that the best way to maximize the Cotopaxi Allpa is to use packing cubes due to the lack of internal compartments. Packing or compression cubes are the most effective way to organize your clothing items, jackets, toiletries, and outfits neatly inside this backpack.

It may not be the best in terms of organization, so it’s a little less intuitive in that department. The computer sleeve isn’t padded, either, so you may have to purchase a case to protect your laptop. That said, users may need some imagination and extra accessories when packing this bag. 

The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L is a great option for folks who do both urban and outdoor travel. It can be customized to cater to several scenarios, and it has tough features that will last a long time. 


Everyone has their own unique travel style and preferences. However, you don’t have to choose a heavy backpack when there are several fantastic lightweight options. This guide can help you narrow down your choices so that you can find the best lightweight travel backpack you need.

About the author

Keith is a one bag traveler and the owner of Backpacks Global. His go to backpack is the Osprey FarPoint 40.

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